New images of $400m project
A STEM centre in the Hobart CBD would add about $2.75 billion to the state’s gross product over 10 years, new economic modelling shows.
As new images are released of the $400 million project, right, leading economist Saul Eslake says a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) centre would transform Hobart and Tasmania in terms of both education and the economy.
It comes as the Hobart City Council and the Mercury organise a free public forum on the matter.
THE University of Tasmania’s STEM project slated for Hobart will add about $2.75 billion to the state’s gross product over 10 years, new economic modelling shows.
As UTAS released new artist renders of the $400 million project, set to be located on the corner of Melville and Argyle streets in the CBD, respected economist Saul Eslake said the project would transform both Hobart and Tasmania.
Mr Eslake said the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) project — which has received priority status from Infrastructure Australia — would have the same benefits in Tasmania as what has occurred in regional cities in Europe and North America.
“Economic modelling undertaken for the university indicates that the proposal will create 755 jobs during construction, and at least 190 ongoing academic and other staff
jobs, increase student numbers by around 1500 (including 600 international or interstate students) and add around $2.75 billion to Tasmania’s gross state product over 10 years,” he said.
“Hobart has much in common with regional cities in Europe and North America, where the development of education and innovation precincts has demonstrably helped to revitalise urban areas, create jobs, enhance skills, foster collaboration between educational institutions and industry, and accelerate economic growth.
“There’s no reason to think similar benefits wouldn’t accrue to Hobart, and to Tasmania, from the university’s proposal.”
As well as being supported by Infrastructure Australia, the STEM project also will form the centrepiece of the increasingly likely Hobart City Deal and has been earmarked by 11 local mayors as the No. 1 project for Southern Tasmania due to the educational benefits it would bring.
Mr Eslake said these would quickly translate into economic dividends for years to come. “The investment pro- posed by the university will make a meaningful contribution to improving educational participation and attainment, developing skills, increasing employment and boosting productivity in Tasmania,” he said.
“All of which will pay both economic and social dividends for years to come.”
Hobart Lord Mayor Sue Hickey said it was part of the council’s desire to see the proposal at the centre of a Hobart City Deal. “The STEM project ticks so many boxes,” she said.
“While it is about higher education outcomes for Tasmanians, it will also result in improved public transport access to the city and improved connectivity and mobility throughout the city.
“It will also encourage more housing accommodation and I expect will lead to significant investment by the private sector seeking to take advantage of the increased opportunities that will arise.”
Property Council of Australia executive director for Tasmania Brian Wightman reiterated calls for all levelsels of government to work togeth-ther to secure the vital pro-ject.
“STEM is a development of both state and national significance which requires the support of all Tasmanians,” Mr Wightman.
“The project will not only deliver investment foror Hobart, it will drive increasedased research and training oppor-pportunities statewide with nodesd at Inveresk and West Park key elements of the university’s proposed Tasmanian Innovation Network.”